Saturday, June 7, 2014

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Pentecost, June 8, 2014 by Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP

Jesus had walked among them.
He had called them to follow his Way.
He had taught them to recognize God's presence in each other.
To forgive.
To live in courage.
To love one another.
Then he was killed, and they lost it all.
They hid themselves away.
They huddled in fear.
They tried to pray, remembering him.
And then it happened.
They felt his Spirit return.
Joy filled them.
They walked out in confidence and told the story.
We've been in that upper room,
down and out, unsure of ourselves,
unable to see the road ahead.
And then the spirit revives us, and we know what to do.
The road becomes clear.
We know how to go on, which way to head.
Once again life makes sense to us.
Those disciples had some ideas about, and images of, God;
some we still hold,
and some we no longer believe.
That's okay.
As much science as we know now,
we know that we don't have the whole story, either.
The important thing is that,
as these Pentecost readings tell us,
the Spirit is with us.
In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians,
we hear that the Spirit is in everyone,
and we are all one.
One body.
One Spirit.
It's an inclusive, egalitarian message
that resonates as timeless truth for us.
We are each uniquely gifted with the Spirit
for the common good.
It's not just for us as individuals.
As Pope Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium,
the common good ranks higher
than the comfort of people who hold on to privilege.
He calls for raising prophetic voices
whenever and wherever the common good is threatened.
These days we're witnessing serious threats to the common good.
The very life and dignity of our planet and all it contains
is seriously threatened by the lifestyles of the privileged.
Fossil fuels, fracking, GMOs, deforestation, climate change...
the list gets longer every day.
And, just as with those first disciples,
the Spirit is moving our community
to raise a prophetic voice
on behalf of the earth and its inhabitants.
Today's Gospel tells how the disciples,
in prayer,
come to embrace again
Jesus' message of peace and forgiveness,
how they remember his mission
of carrying that peace and forgiveness to the world.
They go out from where they are,
and the word, because it speaks truth,
is heard and spread.
We may be moving into a new understanding
of God and the universe,
but the ancient call to peace and forgiveness remains.
And the compelling responsibility
to use our gifts for the common good
spurs us on.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 9 a.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor

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